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Speakers' Biographies

Kathleen Marinelli, MD, IBCLC, FABM, FAAP

Kathie, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of CT School of Medicine, is a neonatologist and member of the Human Milk Research Center at CT Children’s Medical Center, Hartford, CT. She graduated from Cornell University and Cornell University School of Medicine completing postgraduate training in Pediatrics, Pediatric Nephrology and Neonatology at Children’s National Medical Center, George Washington University, Washington DC USA.

In the inaugural group of physicians designated “Fellow of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine” (FABM), she served twelve years on the ABM Board of Directors, and chaired the Protocol committee until 2016. She chaired the US Breastfeeding Committee 2013-2014. Elected to the International Lactation Consultant Association Board July 2014-July 2017, she has held positions in the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding, and serves as the AAP Connecticut Chapter Breastfeeding Coordinator since 2000. She volunteers on a medical advisory committee to Baby-Friendly USA, and was named the Chair of the Baby-Friendly USA NICU Initiative in 2013.

A long-time believer in the use of pasteurized donor human milk when needed, she was founding Medical Director of the New England Mothers’ Milk Bank and is currently co-Medical Director of the Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. She has authored a number of chapters, monographs, peer-reviewed research papers, and ABM protocols. Her research centers on breastfeeding and the use of human milk in the NICU, cup feeding, donor milk and donor milk banking, the Baby-Friendly NICU, global maternal-child issues and the education of medical professionals. She lectures extensively in the United States and abroad, and resides in Glastonbury, CT. Her greatest and proudest accomplishments are her 4 amazing young adult children aged 19 to 29 years.


Laurel owns MotherJourney in Morrison, Colorado. She has her degree in Maternal and Child Health - Lactation Consulting. With over twenty four years of experience working with women in the childbearing year and perinatal professionals, Laurel takes a creative approach to working with the pregnant family. She is co-author of best-selling books, The Greatest Pregnancy Ever: The Keys to the MotherBaby Bond and The Attachment Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide to Bonding with Your Baby. She is also a contributing author to Round the Circle: Experienced Doulas Share What They Learned the Hard Way. She currently spends a great deal of her time working with hospitals seeking BabyFriendly status as a consultant and educator.

Laurel has received her training with Union Institute and University, Healthy Children, DONA, ALACE, CAPPA, Birthworks, Whole Birth Yoga and Prenatal Parenting. She has passed the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. She strives to provide the latest techniques, research and programs to her clients by attending yearly conferences and workshops in the birth and lactation field.  


Laurel is a board certified as a lactation consultant, childbirth educator, labor doula, lactation educator™, Prenatal ParentingTM Instructor, and Pre and Postpartum fitness educator.  She serves on the board for the United State Breastfeeding Committee and InJoy Birth and Parenting's Review Board. 

Laurel is a breastfeeding speaker, sharing her knowledge at professional conferences around the world on subjects ranging from hot topics in breastfeeding to epigenetics and the prenatal environment.  She has trained hundreds of professionals in the 20 Hour Lactation Educator™ Course for CAPPA. Additionally, she offers perinatal classes to families in private and hospital settings. Laurel has created teaching strategies that facilitate better understanding of the change processes during the childbearing year. Laurel has been joyfully married to her husband for 25 years and has two amazing sons, whose difficult births led her on a path towards helping emerging families create positive experiences.  She believes that the journey towards and into motherhood is a life changing rite of passage that should be deeply honored and celebrated.

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